My First Triathlon

31/01/2013 00:00

After having my second son, I decided that I wanted to try triathlons. I had always been a runner, I had cycled a lot, mainly as a form of cheap (free!) transport, and I had done a bit more swimming than usual during my pregnancy… so, about 3 months after giving birth I bought a bike. There were many comedy moments (for others) as I was getting used to the clipless pedals – falling off when stationary, at traffic lights, in front of doors and gates. My hips and knees were bruised and scratched for most of the first few weeks, but eventually I got the hang of it.

When I went back to work, I cycled to work 3 days a week carrying my breast pump in my backpack and going as fast as I could in the evenings so that my pots of frozen milk were still frozen when I arrived home!

After the ‘dream-feed’ at 10.30pm my husband would get up during the night to the children so that I could sleep before work the next day. So each Sunday morning, to give him a well deserved lay in, I would get up with the kids and after breakfast take them for a jog in the park with the enormous double pushchair.

Once or twice a week after having put the children to bed, and before the dream feed, I swam between 500 and 1500 metres and on Saturdays I joined a local cycling group and gradually cycled further and further each Saturday morning.

After about four months of doing this, the date for my first triathlon rolled around in January 2013. This is how it went:


bowl of oats and hot water


booked taxi, arrived early at course to rack bike and set up transition, asked about mount/dismount line (but didn’t actually go and look at it), checked out swim course (from afar), looked at entry/exit of transition and how to find my bike

Warm up

… none!


1500 metres

36 minutes – fairly steady, not too much effort, but did swim a bit off course!


40 kilometres

1h 20m 58s - Took it too easy. could have cornered faster. Only just managed to stop at dismount line because I hadn’t actually been to look at it, which meant that I still had my bike shoes on when I stopped, instead of leaving them clipped to my pedals I had to run wearing them.


10 kilometres

51m 43s - Had jelly legs right at the start but then felt a bit better after the first 1km – I thought it went quite well! I was wondering where I was placed the whole way. The only hiccup was that at about kilometre six I picked up and cup of water and put it over my head… then realised it was Pocari Sweat sports drink! Sticky!

I was placed fifth in the 18-39 years women and was very pleased with myself. My Mum, husband and two children met me at the finish line! Leo cycled my bike home and my mum and I caught a taxi back with the children.

I liked the experience and decided that I wanted to do more of this triathlon stuff…